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Sweetwater Experience this week just an FYI

Greg reeves

Member
Messages
24
This is my Sweetwater experience, I bought a Tele, the E string kept calling off the fretboard edge,for 3 weeks I thought it was me but the neck was mis aligned, I couldn't get it adjusted, turns out the nut was notched wrong,so much for 55 point inspection, communication trying to get it returned and exchanged was frustrating, finally they said they would send a new Tele first class but they sent it UPS, never got apology from sales rep.
 

Ad_Astra

Member
Messages
266
I bought a sample library 6 hours ago, as a download code. Took my money but nothing else yet. Haven't replied my mails and FB Messenger just filled with generic bot replies.

How darn hard can it be to deliver a code via email? Sure there's morning now and they've just opened, but other places get you the codes no matter when you purchase them.

EDIT: Would call them but it'd be way too expensive from the other side of the world.
 

guitarman3001

Member
Messages
11,309
I lost a lot of faith in Sweetwater and its "55 point inspection" when they sent me a Richie Kotzen tele that obviously had a defective bridge pickup. Does none of their 55 points include plugging the guitar in and making sure it works?
Their 55 point inspection missed a PRS bridge that wouldn't even go low enough to be within PRS spec.

I don't mind buying from them but their 55 point inspection is just marketing hype.
PRS is really at fault by having poor QC on the guitar you got.
Add another to the list of 55-point inspection victims. In November I ordered an Epi 1959 Les Paul Standard, supposed to be as close of a replica of the original 59 LP complete with genuine Gibson pickups and top quality electronics. I waited two months for it to come in, turns out it had a defective bridge pickup. Since they're out of stock, I sent it in for a repair. Turns out they can't just grab one of their Gibson pickups they already have in stock, they have to go through Epiphone for a replacement so now we're going on 4 months since I ordered the guitar and I still don't have a working one. Fortunately I don't need the guitar and I did get a nice Black Friday deal on it so it's not a huge deal to wait but yeah, their 55-point inspection is useless.

Oh, and they also offered to have one of their techs do a full setup for $60 before they send it back to me. If that setup is at the same level as their 55-point inspection, no thanks.

I realize defective parts and poorly built guitars can happen but if their 55-point inspection can't catch things like bridges that can't adjust to factory spec and defective pickups, they really aren't inspecting anything.
 

AprioriMark

Member
Messages
1,688
I have never considered an inspection or setup from them, but I do appreciate being able to see pictures and weights of guitars I'm thinking of buying. My sales guy doesn't call to "check on me" since I asked him not to. What he does do (that I appreciate) is get right to the point about the best price, and also return my calls quickly about any weird questions I have about anything.

I had a shipping issue recently where I was concerned the instrument might be lost (due to shipping not updating for over a week), since it's happened to me before with another company, and I ended up not getting that guitar because they sold out. My Sweetwater SE grabbed another (of my choice) and put it on hold for me until my guitar showed up a few days later. Things like that, I appreciate a lot.

They're a big company out to make money, and setups or inspections are not something I'd care about from across the country, but I've changed my mind about having one specific "sales engineer." It works well for me.

-Mark
 

sandmannn69

Member
Messages
179
55 point inspection is a joke. Received a Charvel from them the other day that didn't have the intonation set at all, though their checklist had it checked off along with "chords play in tune up/down the neck", which would have been impossible. Set the intonation myself, then sent it back because the strings didn't line up with the poles on bridge pup. The pic shows the bridge before I wasted half an hour intonating it. Charvel seems to be having some serious quality issues. Got a brand new San Dimas from AMS last month which didn't have the nut shelf cut at all.

 

guitarman3001

Member
Messages
11,309
55 point inspection is a joke. Received a Charvel from them the other day that didn't have the intonation set at all, though their checklist had it checked off along with "chords play in tune up/down the neck", which would have been impossible. Set the intonation myself, then sent it back because the strings didn't line up with the poles on bridge pup. The pic shows the bridge before I wasted half an hour intonating it. Charvel seems to be having some serious quality issues. Got a brand new San Dimas from AMS last month which didn't have the nut shelf cut at all.

More like a 55-point epic fail!
 

steve_man

Member
Messages
2,487
Every company is going to have a bad day or a bad sale at some point. Order enough stuff, and you'll find a weak link in their chain. There are some things I order from Sweetwater, and others I do not. I personally like being able to pick the guitar I want from sets of photos that they take. Not just luck of the draw. My rep usually sells bigger ticket items at a pretty significant discount, as well.

Strings and small stuff, I usually pick up on sale on Amazon, Musician's Friend, etc. Usually cheaper there. No biggie there. Love the 2 year warranty that you get with stuff from Sweetwater, and nearly always free shipping. Don't like having to pay return shipping on something I do not like, but I know that ahead of time. Only happened a couple of times. My sales guy knows his gear, and usually makes spot-on recommendation based on my needs.

As for the 55 point inspection, It's just that... a quick run through of it to check things before it ships. Guitars get dropped, experience huge temperature/climate changes, etc. during shipping. Things are gonna change on that setup. Take it for what it is... something to make you feel better about buying from them. I've never seen them refuse to take something back, in fact I've even sent sound gear back (extra that it turned out we didn't need for a project) months after purchase for a refund/credit.
 

Tachymetres

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
512
My experience with the 55 point inspection was receiving a brand new Les Paul Traditional in 2011 that had obvious shop wear - fingerprints, smudges, dings in the wood and old, dirty strings. They did make it right but I haven't shopped with them since.
 

sandmannn69

Member
Messages
179
As for the 55 point inspection, It's just that... a quick run through of it to check things before it ships. Guitars get dropped, experience huge temperature/climate changes, etc. during shipping. Things are gonna change on that setup. Take it for what it is... something to make you feel better about buying from them. I've never seen them refuse to take something back, in fact I've even sent sound gear back (extra that it turned out we didn't need for a project) months after purchase for a refund/credit.
Not actually performing the steps and then marking them off on the checklist pretty much negates one of their biggest buying incentives. It's misleading advertising.
 

EC Strat

Senior Member
Messages
504
I enjoy ordering from SW. I’ve had a couple hiccups but they made it right. Ben Porter gives great customer service and they have a very expansive inventory. Just about anything you could ever ask for. Just don’t ask them to do any sort of luthier related work - that seems to be outside their swim lane.
 

bluegrif

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,151
Never had a problem with Sweetwater even during this current health crises. If you’re inclined to whine about issues likely caused by the current difficulties, maybe order from a company that forces their employees to work in unsafe conditions and pee in a jar to get your order out quickly.
 

guitarman3001

Member
Messages
11,309
Never had a problem with Sweetwater even during this current health crises. If you’re inclined to whine about issues likely caused by the current difficulties, maybe order from a company that forces their employees to work in unsafe conditions and pee in a jar to get your order out quickly.
I generally like SW but what does their 55-point inspection (or lack thereof) have to do with Covid?
 

Tiger Ted

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
745
Covid has resulted in reduced staff and increased workload for those still working. It can affect a company's performance. We've all seen the impact on shipping.
 

bluegrif

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,151
I generally like SW but what does their 55-point inspection (or lack thereof) have to do with Covid?
No idea. You’d have to ask them. But Since it was routine before Covid I have to assume safety measures are creating a logistical problem. What I seriously doubt is Sweetwater is using Covid as some sort of excuse.

Here’s the thing. I haven’t had a gig in months because there are very few winter venues since outdoors only is what’s available. So complaining about measures responsible companies are taking to ensure employee safety just seems a bit entitled and petty. But hey, maybe that’s just me.
 

guitarman3001

Member
Messages
11,309
No idea. You’d have to ask them. But Since it was routine before Covid I have to assume safety measures are creating a logistical problem. What I seriously doubt is Sweetwater is using Covid as some sort of excuse.

Here’s the thing. I haven’t had a gig in months because there are very few winter venues since outdoors only is what’s available. So complaining about measures responsible companies are taking to ensure employee safety just seems a bit entitled and petty. But hey, maybe that’s just me.
The 55-point inspection was not routine before Covid. They advertise it as such but as many people have pointed out in this thread, that inspection, if they even do it, doesn't catch even obvious defects. It has been this way long before Covid. So I'm trying to understand why they should get a pass on this during Covid when the problem existed long before Covid. ??
 

Tiger Ted

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
745
I've always interpreted the "55 point inspection" as a quick going over to look for any major problems. I never thought it was a complete setup and adjustment. That a few minor problems get through isn't too surprising. And it is a heck of a lot better than GC or MF that make no attempt whatsoever to check out an instrument. The few times I've had any issue with an order with Sweetwater they addressed it and made things right immediately. I got a Supro amp once that had a funky 2nd input on arrival. I called my rep and a replacement amp arrived the next day and the Fedex guy waited while the preprinted shipping label Sweetwater sent was slapped on the first one for return. It does't get any more easy or customer friendly than that. I also had another amp that I owned for a little over a year that needed service. My best option was to ship it back to them as there were no authorized service centers for the product in my neck of the woods. There was a parts shortage so rather than delay the repair they sent me a brand new amp as a replacement, without any prodding by me. So their extra warranty that is free is worth something.
 




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